‘Doors Wide Open’: Americana Awards Honor the Music of a Difficult Year
Brandi Carlile was named Artist of the Year at the 2021 Americana Honors & Awards Show Wednesday night at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
The Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards show from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Wednesday evening was a love-filled evening for artists who have left us, and for those who continue to move us forward with their music.
The “family reunion,” as performer and presenter Allison Russell called it early in the show, was interspersed with tributes to Charlie Watts, Nanci Griffith, Tom T. Hall, and Justin Townes Earle, and The Everly Brothers.
In one of the most poignant moments of the evening, John Prine won the Song of the Year award for his last recorded song, “I Remember Everything.” His widow, Fiona Prine, mused that she had never been inside the Ryman without him, but, she said from the podium, “I think he’s here.” She also remarked that “I think the doors of this building have been pushed wide, wide open,” particularly for women, which John championed.
After the award was presented, “I Remember Everything” was performed by Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Margo Price.
Lifetime achievement awards were presented to Keb’Mo’, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, producer Trina Shoemaker, Carla Thomas, and The Mavericks.
Here are the winners of this year’s awards (in bold), along with the field of nominees:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions), Sturgill Simpson, produced by David Ferguson and Sturgill Simpson
J.T., Steve Earle and The Dukes, produced by Steve Earle
The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, Valerie June, produced by Valerie June, Ben Rice, and Jack Splash
Reunions, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, produced by Dave Cobb
World on the Ground, Sarah Jarosz, produced by John Leventhal
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
Our Native Daughters
The War and Treaty
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR
SONG OF THE YEAR
“Black Myself,” Amythyst Kiah, written by Amythyst Kiah
“Call Me a Fool,” Valerie June featuring Carla Thomas, written by Valerie June
“Dreamsicle,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, written by Jason Isbell
“I Remember Everything,” John Prine, written by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine
“Long Violent History,” Tyler Childers, written by Tyler Childers
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR